‘Dang, He Knows My Name?’ – Knicks’ Obi Toppin Describes Star Struck Moment Meeting LeBron James

Published 03/08/2021, 9:37 AM EST
Jan 29, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) is congratulated by forward Obi Toppin (1) and center Nerlens Noel (right) after scoring a three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photos-USA TODAY Sports


Obi Toppin just had a wonderful All-Star weekend. The Knicks’ rookie was invited to take part in the NBA Slam Dunk contest, where he made it to the final round. However, he couldn’t get past eventual winner Anfernee Simmons.

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But to be able to make a dunk contest in your rookie season is a big feat for any player, and Toppin made the most of his opportunity.

Obi Toppin awestruck meeting LeBron James

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Obi Toppin spoke to the press after All-Star night. The New York Knicks‘ forward spoke about meeting several top players in the NBA today, and how it affected him.

He was absolutely star-struck meeting LeBron James and was shocked that ‘The King’ knew who he was. He praised all the players who were part of the All-Star weekend and shared his fond memories from his first All-Star event.

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“I always said that LeBron was one guy if I see him, I’m going to be like ‘wow’. And as soon as I see him, he looked at me and came up to me and was like ‘what’s up Obi’. I was like ‘Dang, he knows my name?’. That whole experience was good but obviously, every player that’s here is a great player and they got here for a reason so just being here with all these guys is amazing.”

Toppin struggling this year

Toppin has been having a tough rookie season with the New York Knicks. The forward has been struggling for minutes during the season, especially with the form Julius Randle has been in.

When he has had minutes, Toppin has not made the most of it. Toppin has scored double-digit points only twice in the season. This is unexpected given Toppin was the top scorer in college last year.

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Feb 25, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) celebrates with forward Obi Toppin (1) after scoring against the Sacramento Kings in the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: John Minchillo/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
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Can Obi Toppin turn his season around? The forward is still looking to find a consistent run of form with New York.

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However, he has done very little to convince New York Knicks’ coach Tom Thibodeau that he deserves more opportunities. But as we know, fortunes in the NBA can turn around in an instant. All it would take is one strong showing from Toppin for him to earn more opportunities. But it would be on him to capitalize on those opportunities.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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